By Susan Hanson
Zen of Tea
Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, is as much about the aesthetics as the matcha. The elegant ritual, which plays a major role in Buddhist religious practices, is as choreographed as a Kabuki performance, using a series of precise, contemplative movements symbolizing wa, kei, sei, and jaku (harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility). Secrets of the esoteric Way of Tea are revealed during a nine-day culinary journey to Japan with Access Culinary Trips. Additional insider experiences have travelers taking a soba-noodle-making class in Tokyo and dining on a traditional Buddhist vegetarian lunch at Kyoto’s Tenryu-ji Temple. More Zen-filled moments come in the form of serene garden strolls and onsen (hot spring) soaks. Departures: May 17 and September 13, 2019.
London Food Fest
Forage through Selfridges’ famous food hall and take a chocolate-fueled walking tour with a stop at Queen Elizabeth’s own chocolatier. They’re just two of the tasteful adventures available on a tailor-made journey in the UK capital that your travel advisor can craft with Dream Escape, one of Virtuoso’s on-site tour connections.
Professional cyclists rave about the benefits of yoga for their sport, from gaining strength and flexibility to maintaining focus and preventing injury. Backroads recently added guided hatha-style sessions to a number of its 2019 biking tours around the globe, including Spain, Bali, Costa Rica, and California. Each optional morning and afternoon class (also available on select multi-adventure and trekking itineraries) is led by a trip leader with extensive yoga experience and complements culinary pursuits, such as gourmet picnics and grand gastronomic affairs. One tour to consider: a six-day spin through Tuscany’s hilltop towns, highlighted by a Michelin-starred meal at La Torre restaurant. Departures: Multiple dates, June 30 to September 15, 2019.
Top photo: Courtesy of Davor Lovincic/Getty Images